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Personal Pacifica impressions

by Patrick Rall on

2017 Chrysler Pacifica in person

I’ve driven every minivan sold today, and none of them check the luxury level boxes like the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica.

The exterior looks far more compact than the existing Town & Country — but it’s actually larger, inside and out. The new body looks much more modern, from front to rear, doing away with the boxy look of the previous models.

2017 Chrysler minivan with sliding door open

The seats are incredibly soft both, in terms of padding and surface material. They have a high end look and feel. I’ve always questioned hour the Town & Country fits into the luxury Chrysler lineup; there is no question how this vehicle fits. Dare I call this the first real luxury minivan?

Theater seats

The third row is roomier. The multi panel sunroof setup looks good and provides a sky view for every row, which will be great for kids on long road trips. The new infotainment system, with seat mounted screens and individual input docks, will be a welcome change for parents with multiple kids with differing taste in programs.

A key difference that I see inside is the new dashboard. Finally, the minivan gets the same gorgeous gauge cluster as the Chrysler 200, along with the newest UConnect setup, which is leaps and bounds better than the system in the current Grand Caravan. There is nothing wrong with the current minivan infotainment setup, but the next gen system is really a step up in every way.

minivan dashboard

The small instrument panel under the touchscreen is very clean and looks far more upscale; it puts the HVAC controls and the shift dial into one small panel.

This is going to be a much better family hauler, but I think that the exterior design and the interior layout will help fight the stigma of the minivan being so tragically unstylish. Thanks to that, I think that this minivan will be more acceptable to those folks who want a proper luxury minivan.

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Patrick Rall was raised a Mopar boy, spending years racing a Dodge Mirada while working his way through college. After spending a few years post-college in the tax accounting field, Patrick made the jump to the world of journalism and his work has been published in magazines and websites around the world.

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